Confidence in the UK property market is rising and this is driving up real estate values across the country. RightMove's House Price Index revealed that the beginning of the spring market has seen the highest ever new seller asking prices during March. A rise of 1.7 per cent on February levels has been noted, the equivalent to GBP 3,969.
In a statistical release, Rightmove explained: "Growing belief in price stability builds momentum and holds potential for transaction volumes to increase in 2013." The index also found that 60 per cent of home-movers believe that prices will be "more or less the same" in a year's time, while 23 per cent expect prices to be higher.
Furthermore, favourable conditions have also led to a 12 per cent increase in new seller numbers. However, this hasn't led to a change in unsold stock numbers, indicating that sales are rising. Quicker sales have also been noted, with the average time on the market now standing at 80 days. This is in contrast to a 90 day average recorded for March 2012.
The buy-to-let market is benefiting from these favourable conditions and property investment looks to be on the rise. Strong returns and the lowest ever remortgage finance (around two per cent) are certainly making the sector an attractive one. Average rental yields are nearly at six per cent and there is a good prospect of capital growth, acting as a strong incentive to investors.
According to Rightmove, there is now the opportunity to build further momentum with a housing-led, confidence-boosting Budget from the government on Wednesday (March 20th). David Cameron has given indications that the housing sector will be a focus of the Budget. Speaking in Keighley, West Yorkshire, the prime minister reiterated his determination to tackle the current market crisis. In particular, the inability of first time buyers to get onto the property ladder looks set for further reforms.
"We don’t want to go back to the days of 110 per cent mortgages and encouraging people to take on borrowing that they can’t afford," Mr Cameron said. "But it is important that people who work hard and do the right thing are able to buy a home."